Wednesday, 29 October 2014
After a week lying on the sandy beaches of Koh Phangan, we are all beached out and ready for adventure. So we headed back to mainland Thailand and to the striking limestone cliffs and jungles of Khao Sok National Park. Arriving in the dark and rain, we briefly missed our warm, sandy bungalows but soon we grabbed some dinner and booked ourselves on to a two-day guided trip to Cheow Lan Lake, starting 8am the very next morning.
Cheow Lan is a man-made lake which is used to produce hydro-electricity. Damning the Klong Saeng river created the 165sqkm lake and more than 100 islands. The limestone cliffs jut out from the still water, dwarfing the long tail boats fishing for dinner or ferrying tourists.
Saturday, 25 October 2014
We swapped the postcard beach of Haad Salad for the waves, rocks and power outages of Bottle Beach and I loved it! Haad Salad was beautiful, it was everything a beach lover would want from a Thai island - the soft white sand, lined with palm trees leading you to calm, clear water warm enough to lie in for hours. There was an array of resorts and restaurants, some average but some served up really great Thai food.
But still I have to say that I preferred Bottle Beach. It is more remote and can be reached by an extremely rough track or by boat. There are just four accommodation options and they all run off a generator which is switched off for a couple of hours each day. It was quiet. Very quiet. There were far more workers than guests and at one point we could have told you by name the only three other guests on the whole beach!
Tuesday, 21 October 2014
After travelling for 18 hours by train, bus and ferry we arrived on the infamous party island of Koh Phangnan. I was bit nervous about coming here because the island is so well known for it’s full-moon parties and we are far too boring to wear rave paint and drink from buckets.
So we ventured further round the coast from the bright lights and beer bottles of Haad Rin and found that most of the island remains fairly unspoiled. We found some nice little bungalows set slightly back from the beach at Haad Salad and then it was a race to the sea!
We spent a lazy few days enjoying the tranquility of low season, dipping in and out of the warm turquoise sea and rediscovering the joys of hot showers. I wish I could start every day with a swim in the sea and accompany my breakfast with the sounds of gentle waves lapping the soft white sand.